Surviving Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a very common sleep disorder that effects numerous individuals. Anyone can have sleep apnea but as with any disorder there are certain risk factors that can increase your chances. Sleep Apnea is most common in men, those who are overweight, or those who are over forty years old but it can occur in children and even in those who are otherwise in good health. Undiagnosed sleep apnea can not only cause numerous health problems but can leave the person who has the disorder feeling constantly drained. The good news is that with the proper diagnosis and treatment you can not only survive but thrive despite having sleep apnea.
Adjusting to life with sleep apnea is not always easy however. For many it is necessary to sleep with the assistance of a machine called a CPAP Machine. While those who manage to adjust to wearing this machine on a regular basis swear by them, surviving the first few weeks is the challenge. Here are some of the challenges you can expect to face when adjusting to wearing a CPAP machine and some suggestions of how to cope.

Challenge: It’s uncomfortable

If your mask is uncomfortable remember that there are a large number of masks out there. Many can be purchased easily on-line. If your mask does not work for you research and find a mask that will work for you. Be patient and in the end it will pay off. Also, since the mask is attached to a base machine experiment with how the base is positioned and how the hoses are ran that may make a difference too.

Challenge: It’s loud

Much like anything, it will likely take you a couple of weeks to adjust to the sound of the CPAP machine makes, especially if you are used to sleeping in a quiet room. So really patience is key but you may also invest in some ear plugs while you transition or even play some calming music in the room until you get used to the sound. Eventually, you will adjust and you will pay no attention to the sound but you just have to hang in there.

Challenge: I travel a lot and it’s not convenient to lug around with me

If your CPAP did not come with a travel case you should order one. It will make your life so much easier. It will make the bulky CPAP into something that is easily portable. If you are traveling by plane it will easily meet the size regulations for a carry-on but as it is medical equipment many airlines will not count that as your carry-on item.

Challenge: It’s time consuming to care for

Using a CPAP definitely adds a little time onto your bedtime ritual. It is important for both the health of your machine as well as yourself to car for and clean and sterilize your machine as recommended. When your schedule is hectic it is easy to become frustrated with adding another step into your routine but remember this does not always have to be done right before bed. Clean your machine at a time that is convenient for you. You may find that cleaning the pieces first thing in the morning and setting them out to dry throughout the day works best for you. Just experiment until you find a time that works for you.

When adjusting to a CPAP the main thing you need to do is be patient. It will definitely take you a few weeks adjust to wearing the mask but in the end it is so worth it.